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Yellowshirts think safety.

Order and attention to detail are essential to the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. With so many airplanes, equipment and people launching and recovering aircraft, there must always be extra sets of eyes looking everything over and making one more check.

These eyes belong to the flight deck directors, or yellowshirts, the cops of the flight deck. ABHAN Rusty Young from Nimitz air department's V-1 division said the yellowshirts are the voice of safety on the flight deck during flight operations, "A yellowshirt's first concern is safety of everything and everyone on the flight deck. They have to direct aircraft around the deck, park them safely, watch over the squadrons and think about safety at all times. Safety is their biggest concern."

Young is only the second airman, and the first female, to qualify as a flight deck director aboard Nimitz since the ship came out of its refueling complex overhaul in July 2001.

Becoming a yellowshirt takes time and dedication. Sailors start out as blueshirts, driving tractors. After about a month, a Sailor can become a redshirt working in crash and salvage, or can work on qualifying to become a yellowshirt. The qualification time is about four months.

According to ABH 1 (AW) Marlowe Durmiendo, Young's attaining her goal of being a flight deck director has encouraged other female airmen in the division to work for the same goal. "Being an airman director is an accomplishment," he said. "The airman has to be able to tell people on the flight deck what to do, where to go and not be intimidated because they are outranked. Not many airmen can do that, but Young has managed to pull it off."
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Author:Johnson, Beth
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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